This Kelty Salida 2 review is about a feature-rich free-standing, 3-season backpacking tent for 2 people, with a great price for all what it gives to you.
The tent is made of very durable and yet lightweight materials, which most likely contributed to being the winner of the 2011 Backpacker Editor’s Choice Award.
Kelty Salida 2 is a 2-pole freestanding construction, with the poles crossed making an X-shape structure which is easy to pitch. The tent body is easily attached to the poles by the series of clips.
Is the free-standing feature important? Yes, you may find yourself in a terrain where pitching a non-freestanding tent is impossible, like rocks or frozen ground. With Kelty Salida 2 you will not have such issues.
The tent is the 2-layer type, typical for 3-season tents. The body is a nylon paneling and mesh, which all together provides a good breathability. The floor is very durable 68D waterproof seam-taped nylon, and a similar 68D polyester material is used for the fly. The fly is anchored to the body through buckles at the 4 ends of the poles, all color-coded.
You understand that this is not only a very durable fly, but it is also relatively heavy and it will not be flapping with the slightest winds around, which is typically a bad feature of some ultralight tents; those are ‘noisy’ tents as I like to call them.
Kelty Salida 2 tent is a backpacking type, so do not expect too much space if you share it with somebody. It has one D-shaped door on the side, perhaps not the best option if used by 2 people. There is a toggle system, so the door can be rolled up and fixed to the side of the tent body.
On the back of the tent, there is a guy out point, to make some extra space under the fly, a sort of extra vestibule for gear. There are another 4 guy out points to fix the tent to the ground. Stakes and guylines are included in the package.
Inside the tent, you have 2 quite small mesh pockets, and attachment loops above the head. For 2 people use, you will have to have 20 inches sleeping pads.
Here is Kelty’s promotional video of Salida 2 person tent, please have a look:
- Minimum weight: 3 lb 14 oz (1.76 kg).
- Packaged weight: 4 lb 9 oz (2.07 kg).
- Floor surface: 30.5 sq ft (2.83 sq m).
- Vestibule surface: 10 sq ft (0.93 sq m).
- Dimensions (L x W x H): 88 in (224 cm) x 55/45 in (140/114 cm) x 43 in (109 cm). Here, 2 different widths at the two sides of the tent.
- Packed size: 13 x 15 in (33 x 38 cm).
- 1 door.
- 1 vestibule.
- 2 poles; aluminum press fit.
- Wall: 68D polyester, 40D no-see-um mesh.
- Floor: 68D nylon, 1800 mm.
- Fly: 68D polyester, 1800 mm.
- All seams taped.
- Color-coded clips for an easy setup.
Comparison with competitors
Please have a look in this comparison table with Kelty Salida 2 person tent and some other tents reviewed within this site.
|Kelty Salida 2||Nemo Blaze||Nemo Hornet|
My relatively high rate is motivated by the following: the low price, quality of material, and surface, regardless of the weight. There is an obvious reason for its weight.
- One door only.
- Small mesh pockets.
- Weight? Not really sure about it. If used for 2 people, this is not an issue; you share the weight of the tent.
- Here is one comment of a user, which deserves attention: “…since the only venting is along the bottom of the fly, you must keep the snow from blocking the air.” See one of the video below, related to this.
To summarize this Kelty Salida 2 review, this is a perfect backpacking good value tent with a price and quality combination that can hardly be matched by any other tent in the market.
Perhaps a bit small for 2 people (but in fact bigger than others, see the table above), and perhaps a bit too heavy if used as a solo tent. But this is a quality product which will keep you dry when needed. I would not hesitate to use this tent in any environment. They have launched recently their Late Start series which might replace their Salida tents.
If you find this text useful, please share it with others. Thank you for reading. I shall be happy to have some comment from you in the box below. If you want to read more about 2-person tents you may find many of them in my another review. See also a new 2017 tent by Kelty, the Horizon 2 tent.
Have a look in this video, it is just about the tent exposed to rain for an extended period of time, and it has passed the test. This is what you need, to keep you dry in hard situations:
Observe what the author writes in an addendum: “…got hit with over a foot of snow…no problem!”
“Not a single leak thus far.”
Here is a nice video which shows how to set up the tent: